Improving Lives by Developing Resources Sustainably


2017 was a special year for RGE.

While RGE (Royal Golden Eagle), then known as RGM (Raja Garuda Mas), was formally registered in 1973, the roots of RGE traces back to 1967 in Medan, Indonesia, to a humble spare parts supply shop known as Toko Motor. It was there that our Founder and Chairman Sukanto Tanoto first cut his teeth in the world of business. The young Sukanto —then only in his mid-teens—had to take over the reins of the business when his father fell ill.

Through sheer diligence and will, Mr Sukanto Tanoto branched out and started winning construction and spare parts supply contracts for state oil & gas company Pertamina. During the 1973 oil crisis, he was able to ride the back of rapidly soaring oil prices to scale his business as oil companies expanded in the region. His big break came when he successfully set up a plywood mill in Besitang, North Sumatra. He had observed at that time that Indonesia was exporting logs and importing plywood, and decided to invest in manufacturing plywood in Indonesia itself.

Mr Sukanto Tanoto’s winning entrepreneurial streak continued and saw him partnering the Indonesia government’s transmigration scheme in the 1980s to relocate Indonesians from Java to Sumatra. Under the scheme, he successfully established what is today Asian Agri, a leading palm plantation company that works in partnership with 30,000 plasma-schemed farmers.

Mr Sukanto Tanoto went on to build the world’s largest pulp and paper mill in Kerinci, Riau. APRIL Group was at one time listed in the New York Stock Exchange. After overcoming challenging conditions during the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s, RGE diversified and ventured into China, Brazil, Canada, and Spain, expanding its business interests rapidly through the noughties and 2010s to include specialty cellulose (Bracell), viscose fibre (Sateri), palm oil refining (Apical), fine paper and paper board (Asia Symbol) and energy (PO&G).

While today the operations of RGE and our business groups and markets span the globe, these were the early roots of RGE and our forerunner businesses. A truly inspiring story of how an enterprise grew from a local to global leader in the resource-based manufacturing space.

To mark RGE’s 50 years in business, Founder and Chairman Sukanto Tanoto gave an interview to CNBC’s Lasting Legacy programme chronicling RGE’s journey and how aided by his family and an experienced team of professionals, they are collectively building a legacy to last. Read the CNBC article and watch the programme here.